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If you are handling incoming SMS messages during this deployment, please also see Uchaguzi - Trusted Election Monitor Cards

Why is categorization so important and how to do it?

Categorization of incoming crisis related information is one of the ways (besides geo-tagging and translation) to give meaning to unstructured data coming from the people and make such information "actionable." It is very important to have common understanding of what these categories mean and how to use them.

  1. Select one or more appropriate categories, however, try to keep the number of assigned categories to one report to a minimum.
  2. If you cannot find an appropriate subcategory, select "Other." Will we be auditing these categories later.
  3. If you repeatedly process messages that do not fit any of the categories and subcategories, please let one of the co-leads know in the Skype channel and we'll have the appropriate people decide how to proceed.

This list of categories was designed with the need to effectively fulfill two different requirements:

  1. To give the people who are submitting reports (as well as to volunteers who are processing the reports) an easy to understand terminology that will enable quick categorization of incoming data even without specific knowledge and expertise in the field of election monitoring.
  2. To provide categorization that reflects the needs and systems of responders in order to provide them with data that can be useful for their operations.

Please remember that when selecting a category that the need you that you are highlighting should be be explicilty stated in the report or clearly deducible from the information provided.

  • Please try to minimize assumptions in choosing which categories to assign to a report
  • Please choose as few categories as possible.

Finally, this list of categories is not set in stone. They reflect evolving situation on the ground and will be edited/modified accordingly whenever it is necessary. If you have any suggestions, please contact Daudi Were at

Categories (related to content)




Counting and Results

Failure to announce results by IEBC official



Irregularities with transportation of ballot boxes

No Transport to Deliver Ballot Boxes/Ballot Boxes not Transported to Tallying Centre


Ballot Boxes Destroyed After Announcing Final Results



Protest over declared results

Violence, demonstration


Counting Irregularities

  • Ballot Papers not Being Counted in a Transparent Manner
  • Observers or Party Agents not Allowed In The Hall During Vote Counting
  • Spoilt Ballot Papers not Properly Preserved For Review
  • Intimidation of Counting Officials & Observers
  • Error or Omission In Computing or Completing Tally Sheets
  • Unusually Many Rejected/Spoilt Ballot Papers
  • Officials Tallying Wrong/Tampered Results
  • Officials not Reporting Results At Prescribed Time


Party Agent Irregularities

  • Party agents fail to Agree On Disputed Ballot Papers
  • Agents Failure to Sign Final Results From Ballot
  • Agents Decline to Sign Tally Sheet & Decline to Give Reason


Provisional Citizen Results


Polling Station Administration

Polling station logistical issues

  • Polling Station Access Blocked
  • Polling Station not Opened/Closed On Time / not Numbered Properly
  • Design of Polling Station Compromising Secrecy of Ballot
  • Polling Station not Adequately Lit


Polling Station Closed Before Voting concluded

  • Due to Violence
  • Due to darkness
  • Due to lack of material


Missing/Inadequate Voting Materials

Reports of absent or fewer-than-needed ballot boxes, ballots, stations, volunteers, etc.


Ballot Box Irregularities

  • Ballot Boxes not Sealed at Start of Voting Process
  • Sealed Ballot Box Tampered With
  • Non-Voting Materials Placed In Ballot Box


Campaign material in polling station

Any materials (flyers, banners, buttons, clothing, etc.) pertaining to the promotion of a certain candidate or party.


BVR issues 

Technical of staffing issues around the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.

Positive Events

Civilian Peace Efforts

Citizen led initiatives to promote peace


Everything Fine

In previous election deployments we have received many reports from people telling us that things are going smoothly.


Police Peace Efforts

The police sometimes have community outreach events to promote peace and security during the polls.

Security Issues


In discussing security issues, please describe as accurately as possible who was attacked, the physical location of the attack, and where known, the attackers.  For an issue to be classified as a security issue, it must involve threats or acts that would damage property or persons. 



Including hostage taking.



Including vehicle attacks.


Violent Attacks

Attacks without weapons (e.g., brawls), knives, or few small arms (e.g., one or two handguns) -- if you can, please differentiate between violent attacks and armed clashes. Armed clashes are more serious.


Armed Clashes

Attacks with multiple firearms, automatic weapons, or heavy weaponry (mortars, shelling, etc.)



Civil or political unrest explicitly characterized as riots, as well as behavior presented as tumultuous or mob-like. Includes looting, prison uprisings, crowds setting things on fire, general fighting with police (typically by protestors), lynch mob assemblies, ransacking, football riots, and stampedes.


Vandalism and Physical Attacks on Property



Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Rape and other sexual assaults



Including rallies and marches


Eviction/Population displacement



Dangerous Speech

Threat of Violence



Presence of a credible perceived threat: unverified reports of violence, corruption, intimidation, looting, etc. Something not personally witnessed, but widespread knowledge or notable 'hearsay.' Please specify source and context.


Mobilisation towards violence

Where concrete step have been taken and violence appears imminent. (If violence has already started, do *not* use this category.





Presence of weapons



Purchase of weapons


Voting Issues

Voter registration irregularities

  • Register of voters missing
  • Voters Names Missing From registry


Voters Issued Invalid Ballot Papers



Voter Integrity Irregularities

  • Importation of voters
  • Voter Impersonation
  • Voter Intimidation
  • Bribing of Voters
  • Voters Voting More Than Once
  • Voter Identification Kit not Working


Voter Assistance irregularities

  • Issues with proper identification
  • Illiterate Voters not Assisted
  • Unusually Many Assisted Voters/Voter Assister not Taking Oath of Secrecy


Voting Irregularities

  • Eligible Voters Turned Away/ not allowed to Vote
  • Ineligible Voters Allowed to Vote


Purchasing of Voters Cards


Staffing Issues

Absence or insufficient number of IEBC Officials/Staff At Polling Station Opening



Absence or insufficient number of law enforcement officials at Polling Station



Observers/Media Blocked From Entering Polling Station



EBC Officials not Acting In Accordance to Set Rules




This is for reports that do not fit into any other category. Note: Please feel free to flag reports that do not fit into a category with your co-leads in case we would like to add one immediately. We will also be auditing 'Other' category reports to monitor where new categories should added throughout this project.

Categories (related to report status)








To be Geolocated

The report needs to be geolocated.



The report has been geolocated.


Impossible to Geolocate

There is no location information provided, or the content of the message references several (10+) locations over a wide area and cannot be pinpointed to one neighborhood, community, ward, etc.





To be Translated

The report needs to be translated.



The report has been translated.


No need to Translate

The report was submitted in English and does not need translation






This report requires immediate action.


Not Urgent

This report does _not_ require immediate action.






This report has _not_ been verified by our trusted sources and/or official partners.



This report has been verified by our trusted sources and/or official partners.